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Heidi and I became friends about 15 years ago when we were both new employees in the test kitchen of Martha Stewart Living magazine. We worked side by side for about 5 years, and often got to travel together on photo shoots. Now we both live in Brooklyn with our families but do not get to see as much of each other as I would like. A couple years ago Heidi started a very special tea company called Bellocq and I finally got to visit their truly beautiful shop in Greenpoint this summer.
When we were food editors together I always admired Heidi's passion for food and the delicate touch of her food styling. Now I see both traits again in her teas. As she talks about each blend she transports you to a far away place full of sights and sounds...and as you sip the delicious teas you are taken on that journey with her. While visiting the shop I tried many of the teas and bought several to bring home.
I must have been quite obviously smitten because a few days later when Bea was in some need of a little extra attention she asked if we could make some of Heidi's teas. When I said yes, she said, "all of them?" I nodded in agreement and she was so excited that she immediately set to work laying out all of the bags of tea, counting them, and laying out bowls and cups to steep them in.
We have 7 different varieties in all and she loved smelling them, stirring them as they steeped, and then tasting them all. Her favorite was Little Dickens, an appropriate choice since Heidi designed it (with her young son) specifically for children. Since this tea tasting party took place in July we made a big pot of Little Dickens and stirred in a little honey and milk and kept it in the refridgerator - it was delicious iced. I also started making simple syrup flavored with Siam Basil Lemongrass which made a very special limeade when combined with fresh lime juice and seltzer. It became a favorite summer drink for all of us.